For decades, Arab women have been challenging their patriarchal societies, shattering glass ceilings, and succeeding at everything they set their minds to achieve.
This includes many outstanding businesswomen, excelling in diverse fields.
While entrepreneurship was thought of as a male dominated industry a few years back, that's no longer the case in the region.
Today, more women are joining the world of business than ever before and they've outshined their counterparts, building successful empires in countries across the Arab world.
Here are a few inspiring examples who have made it big in the world of entrepreneurship:
1. Sophia Al Asfoor (Bahrain)
Bahraini handbag designer, Sofia Al Asfoor, has become a name to reckon with on the international fashion scene.
She is the entrepreneur, designer, founder, and creative director of luxury leather handbag brand, Sofia Al Asfoor.
In the few years since she launched her brand, the young entrepreneur has taken it from strength to strength and her business continues to expand across the world.
2. Ayah Bdeir (Lebanon)
Bdeir is a Lebanese engineer, interactive artist, and founder/CEO of littleBits, "an award-winning platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that is empowering kids everywhere to create inventions."
The MIT media lab alumna's career was always centered around creating a platform that would make innovation and education available to as many people around the world as possible.
She is now considered one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement and has made a huge impact on the lives of millions across the world.
3. Ghazael Al Dossary (Saudi Arabia)
Al Dossary is an inspiring Saudi entrepreneur who works in the petrochemical industry.
She is the founder of Oriental Promises Trading, a company that delivers waste materials to large manufacturers who then repurpose them to fit their needs.
Her organization prevents tons of waste from going to landfills.
In 2016, Al Dossary's business won the Merit Prize at Shell LiveWIRE’s "Top Ten Innovators" global competition.
4. Dina El Mofty (Egypt)
El-Mofty is the successful entrepreneur behind one of Egypt's most incredible companies.
She is the founder of Injaz Egypt, an organization that partners with schools and universities across the country, impacting over half a million Egyptian students and helping train them to become future entrepreneurs.
In recent years, the company "has seed funded and supported over 50 successful startup businesses."
After her great success in creating an innovative platform that helps build a better future for young Egyptians, Arabian Business nominated El-Mofty as one of the world’s most influential young Arabs under 40.
5. Noor Al Qatami (Kuwait)
Having lived in the U.S. for years, the team management graduate tried to launch a few businesses in the states but none took off.
She then returned to Kuwait and helped run her father's steel business before figuring she needed to find work that was more challenging.
Searching for ideas, she realized something was missing in the Kuwaiti market, a high quality mega market that mimics grocery shopping experiences she had in the U.S..
That's when the idea for Saveco was born. In the few years since it was launched, the business has expanded across Kuwait.
Amid the huge success, Al-Qatami was chosen as one of the 100 most powerful Arab women in 2016 by Arabian Business.
6. Sara Al Madani (UAE)
Al Madani is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who's the creative force behind fashion label, Rouge Couture.
She launched her career in business at the young age of 15, opening a unique abaya store. Her aim at the time was to evolve the style of the floor length garment while keeping it modest.
In the past few years, Al Madani has launched several successful business ventures and was also selected to join the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
She is considered the youngest person to be a member of the board.
7. Mary Nazzal-Batayneh (Jordan)
She is also the founder and chair of Landmark Hotels, a leading luxury hotel chain based in Amman.
In 2013, she was the only Jordanian selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Nazzal was also chosen as one of Forbes’ 200 Most Powerful Arab Women several times.
8. Hind Bahwan (Oman)
A Harvard business school graduate, Bahwan is the Founder and CEO of Bahwan CyberTek Group, an IT, logistics, and engineering corporation.
Her success in managing her own business, while also serving as board member for several important companies and organizations has rendered her one the most esteemed Arab businesswomen.
She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the World Economic Forum's "Global Young Leader" award, which she received in 2007, and the Asian Business Leadership's 2011 "Woman of Power Award."
STEP Conference 2018
Between March 28-29, more than 6,000 techies will gather in Dubai for the latest in entrepreneurship, digital, fintech, and future tech.
STEP Start is the home-base for founders, startups, and entrepreneurs. It will also include startup mentorship sessions, flagship pitch competition, and partner activations.